Wednesday, December 2

I talk to... NADIA ALTOR

age: 25
from: Barrow-in-Furness
type of visitor:
she's the cook!

drinking:
latte


"On a brick wall in a back garden just north of Birmingham, visible from the train, is a painted-on goal post with the words HIT IT AMADEEP daubed inside in thick black capitals. I know this because I wrote it. Amadeep was my little brother, and I wrote it the summer before he died."


Don't you think that sounds like a great first sentence for a novel? Evocative and distinct, it hooks the reader immediately. It's actually the first sentence of an excellent short story by Elephant House staff member Nadia Altor, who graduated from Edinburgh University's Creative Writing MSc recently. You can read this story and others here, as well as extracts from Vanguard, a novel telling the story of the Carson family in a shipbuilding town as filtered through punk-rock, social breakdown and the mysterious voyaging of a nuclear submarine...

I have a theory that nearly all quality writers, at the beginning of their careers, start off belonging to one of two groups: strong in language but weaker in story-telling, or strong in story-telling but weak in language. Nadia reckons that she's probably closer to the first group, and she certainly has the natural gift of phrase-making, it's apparent in all her stories; but I wouldn't be surprised if she has the story-telling skills required by novels too. We'll have to wait till Vanguard is published to find out...

Like the admirable Mystery Mr X (who, having read all available impenetrable literature in Europe, has departed for South America for a month to read further impossibly obscure tomes) Nadia prefers to go unphotographed, hence the artistic photograph of her coffee cup resting on my interview notes...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is your new novel about? I'm curious, as a writer and tango dancer...
Abby

Mike said...

Well it's a long way from completion, plus I'm also working on a novella that is near completion and nothing to do with tango...

It's too soon to say much about it in detail, but as someone said, tango is a sad thought that is danced. The novel is about the beauty, the humour, and even the restorative power, of sadness.

Tomoyo said...

Hello Mike, my name is Erica Adonajlo. I am a Tv Producer, I produce a travel show and we are going to Edinburgh in August(I am Argentinian). We would like meet you and make a interview during our stay in the city. Do you think that is possible? My email is erica.adonajlo@gmail.com
If you are interested, please send me an email.
Thanks, best regards